Insanely delicious, moist and flavorful carrot cake bars with a coconut cream cheese frosting, the perfect treat!
Hey friends! I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys. I very rarely create baking recipes totally from scratch, I am just not that confident of a baker. I typically find a good recipe to start with then alter and change it to fit my personal preference. This is why I am so excited today to share this recipe with you guys. It is mine, all mine, and I made it many, many, many times, adjusting every little thing until I got it to the perfect consistency. And now it is ready to be shared!
Check out this super easy video showing just how to make these carrot cake bars:
Now you might be wondering why I changed my ways and decided to try baking something without a recipe to start with. Well, let’s just say I got some creative inspiration in the form of a box full of Bob’s Red Mill flours! They are the best flours. I got some almond flour which I used to make macarons, I will be sharing those soon! But I also got Organic Unbleached White Flour, which is totally versatile, and perfect for all your baking needs. It is freshly milled from Organic hard red wheat. Both the bran and the germ have been removed leaving the endosperm that is made into white flour. It is not enriched with any additives. It makes such light and airy baked goods, I couldn’t help but be excited I had to get to work creating something.
Carrot cake is so perfect for the season. Plus, the carrots…I mean, it makes me feel like I am getting something healthy, even if I am not. So I knew I had to make something carrot cake-ish! I am calling these carrot cake bars, but you could just call it carrot cake if you would like, as it basically turns out very light, fluffy, and cake-y. I basically wanted to be able to eat it with my hands, and by calling them bars I could do so!
I loved this recipe, it is chock full of little carrot pieces. And so I wanted to share my trick. I have long avoided making carrot cakes because I did not want to grate the carrots, it seems tedious. So instead, I just peeled my carrots, chopped the ends off, then rough chopped them into a couple pieces so they would fit in my food processor. Then I processed them on high for 1 minute. The result was little tiny pieces of carrot, perfect for this cake/bar recipe! I did the same with the apples.
And of course to balance out the delicious carrot and apple healthiness I decided to add a LOT of the coconut cream cheese frosting. I like a good ratio of 2 parts cake to 1 part frosting. In other words, the frosting should be half as thick as the cake!
And trust me, no one complained about this ratio! Despite making 4 gazillion batches of these to get things right, every bite got eaten. In fact, I took some over to my Grandparents as a lot of my family Easter memories have to do with them. And my kids complained that I was giving it all away.
I did not mind though. My Grandparents always did a great job of making Easter special for us. They would put together an Easter Egg Hunt in their back yard, and each kid was allowed to get a certain number of each color of egg. My Grandma made sure the candy inside was the good stuff. And even hid money in a few eggs. It was very exciting. And across the street from their house was the place the city held their egg hunt, so we always got to do a double hunt that day. I have lots of fond memories of that.
Anyway, back to the these carrot cake bars! The frosting is awesome, but if you don’t want as much, feel free to cut the recipe down. And of course, I had to add some pecans to make me feel even better about the fact that I want to eat the whole thing by myself, although my kids made sure that did not happen!
By the way, notice my fingernails, I painted them orange to match the cake!
Mmmmm….okay, not I just want to go and make yet another batch. If you plan to make this recipe, be sure to snag a coupon here for Bob’s Red Mill flours.
Carrot Cake Bars with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt not Greek
- 3/4 cup carrots finely grated or chopped (I used the food processor)
- 1/2 cup apples finely grated or chopped (I used the food processor)
- 1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached All Purpose White Flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp coconut flavoring
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup sweetened coconut shreds
- pinch of salt
- Chopped pecans optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugar together.
- Add in eggs, vanilla, and yogurt, and mix well.
- Fold in apples and carrots, and mix well.
- In a separate bowl mix together Bob's Red Mills Organic Unbleached White Flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Combine the wet and dry batter, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Line a 9 x 9 or 11 x 7 baking pan with parchment paper, and pour batter into the pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until no longer jiggly in the center, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely.
- While cake cools, prepare frosting by mixing all frosting ingredients together in a large bowl with a hand mixer
- Spread frosting over the top of the carrot cake bars, and garnish with chopped pecans.
- Cut into slices and serve!
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.